BRAIN FOOD: Room service - Where John Allan stays

BRAIN FOOD: Room service - Where John Allan stays - For business: By a short hair, I'd say the St Regis in Beijing. It has great facilities, ambience and decor but it's the service that gives it the edge. Everything I requested was done as I'd asked for, and with a smile. There are butlers on each floor, available 24 hours a day. It's a rather traditional grand hotel and although it is not particularly distinguishable, it is nicely done. It's central - always important on business trips - and has good leisure facilities, including a spa and pool. The rooms have connections for PCs, international direct dialling, two phone lines, voicemail and fax machine on request. But they are also comfortable - important if you're spending more than a few hours working there.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

For business: By a short hair, I'd say the St Regis in Beijing. It has great facilities, ambience and decor but it's the service that gives it the edge. Everything I requested was done as I'd asked for, and with a smile. There are butlers on each floor, available 24 hours a day. It's a rather traditional grand hotel and although it is not particularly distinguishable, it is nicely done. It's central - always important on business trips - and has good leisure facilities, including a spa and pool. The rooms have connections for PCs, international direct dialling, two phone lines, voicemail and fax machine on request. But they are also comfortable - important if you're spending more than a few hours working there.

For pleasure: Cromlix House near Stirling in Scotland, a large Edwardian house, was built as a family residence in 1874. Although not a huge hotel, it is extremely comfortable and run by very pleasant people. It is easily accessible from Glasgow or Edinburgh, and marvellous for walks in the Highlands. The food is traditional Scottish fare, all very nicely done. And again it is the quality of service that gives it the nose - that's always what makes me want to go back. We went there for a New Year's Eve house party, which was absolutely splendid: pipers, dancing - they even arranged the snow! As we danced the night away the snow was falling and we were able to trample around in it the next morning. It was magical.

John Allan is chief executive of Exel plc.

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